August 13, 2017

Ben Zobrist Wants An Electronic Strike Zone

Jesse Rogers, ESPN:
Chicago Cubs veteran Ben Zobrist has been in favor of an electronic strike zone for several years, and the Strike 3 call on him to end Saturday's 6-2 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks will only fortify his stance on the matter.

The slider from reliever David Hernandez looked decidedly low, but plate umpire Mark Wegner rang Zobrist up to end a Cubs rally.

"It's a tough one," Zobrist said after the game. "There's only been one other one [in 2013] I've ever had in my career that felt worse than that, especially to end the game. It's tough. I was a little confused and shocked to what the call was." ...

"I really know Mark knows he messed it up," manager Joe Maddon said. ...

"If we want to change something like that, we're going to have an electronic strike zone because human beings are going to make mistakes," Zobrist said. "Tough situation for that to happen, but he's probably going to look at it and not be too happy with himself. That's something the league is going to have to look at, when you start ending games and games turn on one pitch like that. It's an unfortunate situation, and now that we have the technology, we should probably get it right."

Zobrist said the idea is gaining momentum with players ...
Tony Crumpton,
The final pitch that was a slider was a clear ball out of the strike zone, but the umpire made the game-ending call to the shocked faces of the Cubs players especially Zobrist.

The call looked pretty bad on TV, but it wasn't all that aggregious according to the on-screen strike zone.

And according to Brooks Baseball, it might actually have been a strike:

Comparing the two zones, the TV zone appears smaller than the actual strike zone. (I'm assuming that Brooks' zone is more accurate.) That is absolutely the case with NESN, and perhaps it is true of WGN, too.

While I am glad to read that Zobrist is in favour of an electronic strike zone - and that he is far from alone in that desire - this game-ending call was not as ridiculous as many others I have seen.

Also: This might be the 2013 call Zobrist was referring to.

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